In honor of Golf Tips Top 25 Instructor Rob Labritz’s sixth trip to the PGA Championship this week, I’m honored and proud to share my semi-regular blog with him during tournament week. The New Yorker, who’s the Director of Golf at Glenarbor Golf Club in Pound Ridge, is gearing up for a “home game” in front of family and friends just 45 minutes from where he lives and works. Every day he’s in mix he’ll provide a PGA Championship diary of his experience on and around Bethpage Black. Rob reports after shooting a second round 69 to tie for 68th, putting him above the cut line for the second time.
DAY FIVE: ROUND TWO
My phone is blowing up. I have about 200 text messages to respond to. It’s just incredible. I’ve made the cut at the PGA Championship after shooting 69.
I didn’t think we were in, even though I thought a sub-70 round would do it. After I finished we were sitting there at T76, just below the cut line.
Then the number moved and we were T68, and here we are playing on the weekend. It’s just crazy. I’m having so much fun. I don’t know who I'm playing with yet on Saturday, we haven’t received the pairings, but I’m in. I have a tee time and I’m playing the weekend.
My round was pretty solid overall. I started on 10 and hit a poor drive, missing it right into the fairway bunker, and started with a bogey. After that I just hung in there, hitting fairways, avoiding the really tall stuff, hitting greens and leaving myself some good putts. I think I only missed four fairways today, which you have to do to score well.
On 12, which was playing as a 525-yard par 4 uphill, I hit driver-3 wood to 12 feet and made birdie, followed it up with another birdie on 13.
On No. 15 I missed the fairway, darn it — put it in the right rough, laid up and made bogey there, but got past that and made par on the next five holes. I felt like with the wind blowing the way it was, the front nine played a little easier since so many holes played downwind. That helped.
I missed the fairway on No. 2 but made par. Then came No. 3, where I made a great birdie — 227-yard 4-iron on the green, then I made the 20-footer. It was a great way to kind of kick the round into gear. Then I birdied 4: laid up right of the green, wedged to about 18 feet and made the putt. The greens are just rolling perfect out there. They’re smooth — flawless.
I just had really one bad hole, a three-putt on No. 6. I was in the fairway bunker, hit it on the green to about 45 feet. My putt actually hit the pin and bounced about six and a half feet away, and I didn’t make the putt coming back.
On No. 7, where the tees were moved up a little, I hit driver, 5-iron about 25 right of the hole, then two-putted. From there I just cruised in, made pars, and waited to see what would happen.
My putting stayed strong throughout the round. I’ve had this Argolf putter in my bag for a couple of years now, and it’s been treating me pretty well, so I’ll stay in the bag as long as it does.
The newly fitted clubs I had done didn’t figure into my game all that much, even though I had a few woods and hybrid shots to greens. The guys in the truck adjusted my driver a bit to help eliminate going left, and that really helped. My caddie, Todd Luigi, just kept saying “release, release, release,” and that’s what I did on every shot. Just a straight ball, maybe a little cut, a little draw when I needed it.
My plan now that I’ve made the cut? Just fire at everything, go for the pins, no letting up, go as low as I can. And keep having fun. Now I can really relax. I’ll keep enjoying the crowd and doing what I can to get them into it. They’ve been just awesome the entire time.
I get to keep reporting to you over the weekend, which is amazing. I’m so thankful. I’m going to enjoy every moment of this.
ROB LABRITZ: THE STATS SO FAR
Driving Accuracy: 57.1%
Average driving Distance: 295.7 yards
Greens in Regulation: 72.2%
Strokes Gained: 2.6